3 ‘Avatar’ Sequels to be Released in 2016, 2017 & 2018

Published 2 years ago by

avatar sequel release date delay 3 Avatar Sequels to be Released in 2016, 2017 & 2018

It was never a question that James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) would be getting a sequel – as the highest-grossing film in history, the only question was: how many sequels would it be getting? Much speculation has surrounded that question, fueled by the producers, cast and even Cameron himself, but today we have an answer.

Avatar will be getting not two, but three sequels, to be filmed simultaneously with production beginning in 2014. Avatar 2 is expected to release in December 2016, Avatar 3 will follow in December 2017, with Avatar 4 closing things out in December 2018.

Variety reports that not only has Fox found a way of making the most out of Avatar‘s success – following a shooting and release structure similar to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy – but have also found the talent to help make it possible. Just yesterday came news that Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) had been brought on to help with writing duties for Avatar 2, and these details also come with an announcement that Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes), and Shane Salerno (Savages) have also been added to the team developing scripts for the next three films in the series.

avatar sequels 48fps 3 Avatar Sequels to be Released in 2016, 2017 & 2018

It seems that the conversation (and confusion) over Avatar‘s sequels began almost immediately after the first film was released. For his part, Cameron has made no secret of the fact that he will be going underwater for his next trip to Pandora, and that for the foreseeable future he will be involved with nothing but the Avatar series. The writers brought on to aid Cameron have some respectable credentials, but the tallest order – and likely the biggest hurdle – will be the uncompromising director’s desire to master underwater motion-capture.

It’s hard to say whether the three years until release is enough time to solve that problem, but the technical challenge may be part of the reason production won’t be beginning this year, as previously rumored. This announcement will raise questions about the story, since Cameron previously claimed that Avatar 2 and 3 would complete a three-film story arc he had in his mind from the beginning. It’s too early to tell if the addition of yet another sequel came from the director’s mind, or the studio’s wishes.

avatar sequels start date 570x320 3 Avatar Sequels to be Released in 2016, 2017 & 2018

Before anyone assumes the latter, it’s worth reminding everyone that Sigourney Weaver knew about the sequels shooting back-to-back over a year ago, apparently even before producer Jon Landau did. Leaks or late decisions aside, it’s no surprise that the films will be shot simultaneously, since it’s the main way of minimizing the colossal costs of the production. And if the schedule holds true, fans of the original film will have three straight years of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and the rest of the Navi to look forward to. If you can think of a better way of repaying patience, we’d like to hear it.

What do you think of these plans for the Avatar franchise? Is it too much too soon, or has the recent slate of wannabe-epics and underused 3D convinced you that Cameron knows something other directors don’t?


The Avatar sequels are set to begin production in 2014. Avatar 2 is scheduled for release in December 2016, Avatar 3 in December 2017, and Avatar 4 lastly in December 2018.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Variety

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Avatar was one of my favorite movies of all time, even if it wasn’t completely original it was just so well done. I will be seeing all of the sequels on opening day.

    • Me tooooooo!

  2. first off, how many times are they going to keep pushing back at least one sequel to Avatar?? first it was 2014. then 2015, now its 2016?!?! cmon…its been 4 years, make up your mind either speed it up or just dont make one! enough of the foolishness

    secindly, 3 just may be too many sequels!!! thats a lot especially if theyre all around 3 hours long like the first one…since there is no base story, i feel like they may just be stretching it out a bit.


    • You must be forgetting who we’re talking about here. This is James Cameron, the guy who waited 15 years to do the first Avatar because the technology wasn’t advanced enough for him. Cameron’s notorious for doing things on his own timetables to ensure that the final product is up to his very high expectations. And so far, it’s paid off. Titanic’s grossed over 2 billion world wide, Avatar’s only a few hundred mil away from 3 billion, and all of his movies have been critically acclaimed.

      • Thank you Darth… you basically said everything I was going to.

        “Speed it up” no no no… do it right.

        Fast and Good are two things that normally don’t play well together.

        Quality is everything. Quality takes time.

        • If he took so long to ensure quality, then why did ‘Avatar” suck so bad?

          • Quality visually.

          • Yes cave-man it sucked so bad, its the ONLY blockbuster i can think of outside inception to be nominated for best picture and is the highest grossing film all of all time

  3. People have bashed Avatar due to the predictable story, but when you step back and look at it as a whole project it is truly breathtaking! Also, Avatar is far superior than most other films that we get. JC makes incredible films and he has created some jaw dropping sci-fi worlds. Sitting in the cinema watching Avatar for the first time was a true cinema experience and I will be watching these next ones in IMAX.

    I also love the fact that JC has taken his time to develop the next films, and that he is humble enough to seek out others for aid in his project, to make it as amazing as possible for fans. I hope filming 3 films won’t affect Zoe Saldana for Trek 3.

    Hats off Mr Cameron, you make very entertaining films and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!

    Question: How much money will the first sequel make?

    • I think it’ll make over a billion easily, but to make more than the first (i.e. 3 billion or so) will be a tough challenge. The Star Wars sequels didn’t make as much as the first, even though many believe the second was better. The first was just so ground breaking and everyone wanted to see it, similar to Avatar.

      • I’d say easily over 1 billion too, maybe if the first two sequels are top quality then the third may have a chance of beating the original total. At the moment though I would have to agree with what you say about the first sequel total.

      • I say over 1 Billion as well. If the sequels have the kind of writing/storyline as it should along with some new tech from Cameron then I can see this easily going over 2 billion. JC always seems to have something up his sleeve for films that he loves and from all indication he is really into making the Avatar sequels into something special again

    • Hmmm, I don’t think it’s humility driving “JC’s” decision to hire some writers for help, but ego: I’m sure he’s well aware of the fact that the biggest criticism Avatar gets is the writing, and if he wants the Avatar series to be the highest grossing combined total of all time that won’t be beat until something like a century has passed (which appears to be his single driving force behind making films and for adding Avatar 4), then he knows he can’t give anyone a good reason to say these new films are underwhelming on a story level.

      • I think that’s a good thing though. I only wish other directors/producers/creators took the same approach. Maybe only then will we get great visuals effects with equally as good writing/storyline. Avatar as good as the visuals were the writing/storyline was weak which lead to some okay sci-fi films that were great on visuals but not as great on storyline/writing. If they can make the sequels with a great storyline and something new in the visual department then we might have something epic.

      • @ eddie money – I was just trying to say that I am pleased that he is bringing in others to get the quality of the project up. He could easily have the attitude of, “no I’m doing it on my own, I don’t need you” with all he has achieved but he doesn’t. He has had criticism of plot and is trying to improve it, nothing wrong with doing that.

        If his motivation is to make the highest grossing franchise then that is fine by me, he is going about it in the correct way. Great story + great visuals = mucho dinero, that is no secret combination – it is common sense.

        I quite like large ambition and JC is certainly trying to leave his mark on cinema, good luck to him.

        • I guess in a sense I can’t slam his ego too much; he is recognizing the fact that he obviously can’t write a great story on his own, which, in a way, shows that he at least recognizes his shortcomings. You made a good point their. Also, Johnathan is right: George Lucas displayed a much more naive sense of hubris with his prequels and remasters than James Cameron ever has.

      • Ego??

        He acknowledges the deficiency of the first film by hiring writers to improve on his screenplay.

        That’s not ego, that’s responsibility and dedication to quality.

        “Hey guys, apparently my script was a bit pants can you come and do a better job for me….”

        You want a display of ego…. George Lucas and the special, special, extended, special, re-mastered, 35th anniversary, special release of the original StarWars trilogy and all the unnecessary additions and CG changes.

        (Seriously how many tweaked cash cow re-released has the man done over the years)

  4. How many times can you tell the same ‘save the earth from dem nasty humans’ story?

    • It would be cool if they had the first two sequels as the humans returning to regain Pandora, and the 3rd sequel as a Tribe war.

      Personally I would prefer the first sequel as being the only one with humans in, and sequels 2 and 3 to be a Tribe war. I think that the other way around is more likely though! Jake could be the cause of the war too, other Tribes blame him for the “sky people” returning and consequently try to kill him, thinking it will send them away.

        • I didn’t take into account the water thing and therefore what you say makes more sense. I like the war of two worlds idea! Good thoughts :)

          I hope it inspires a badass Aquaman film too.

          What I like about this is that the origin story has been done first in the form of Avatar, and now we get the main Trilogy sort of. We have the basics of the Avatar universe now lets go and explore it!

          • Yes, that is what it sort of feels like with Avatar maybe being the origin story(however bad the storyline/script was) and now we are getting the actual vision of the story that Cameron wants to tell. If he can get underwater motion capture in the same way he did in the first film with a great script(like Savages/Planet of Apes) then I could really see it doing better than the first Avatar. I think his trip down to the deep seas and testing some of that technology must have really inspired him which is great. I was telling some friends and co-workers about this yesterday. A lot of them were pretty excited to get a sequel and can’t wait for it to come to the big screen.

  5. Cue the same comments about the story of the first being unoriginal that appear on every story about Avatar. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

    • Nope, just true.

      • Its not original but its made 100 time better than most of its counterparts with the same story

        • ^Yeah. And I respect a simple, archetypal story that doesn’t trip up in delusions of would-be plot complexity.

      • Bro, you can say that about any other movie today. All movies barrow from different story lines. It’s just how you execute it that makes it worth seeing.

      • All movies borrow from different movies. Yes, some are original on how it’s presented(instead of indians it’s aliens, robots vs monster instead of robots vs robots, and so on). The difference is on how it’s delievered.

      • Um, do you understand what ironic means?

  6. At first I was skeptical about having 2-3 sequels but with having Jaffa, Silver, and Salerno on board it’s making me pretty excited about the possibilities. I loved Savages and Rise of The Planets of the Apes was alright as well. At least now I can expect at least a decent storyline. I’ve also read online that Cameron is expecting to show off some new stuff in this movie which is pretty interesting. Now what that is I have no idea but we shall see. It will be interesting to see though

  7. Well, this I’ll be good for the New Zealand economy.

    • Tell us, therdal, what are you going to do that’s so great for NZ’s economy?

      • Autocorrect of this’ll

    • What’s this “economic” superpower that you possess? How’s about you forget New Zealand and help South Africa out.

  8. hmm seeing I didnt like the first 1…guess I will wait till it gets out on to cable…

  9. I think one of the sequels will feature a new tribe but not from the same species. Maybe some Red Avatar tribe or some s***.

  10. 2016 for part 2. WOW. I think by this time I won’t be excited to see this film. I’m affriad their just gonna push it back again.

  11. Personally, I hated the first movie. After seeing how pretty it looked for the first hour I kept hoping the story would get better. It never did. At 3 hours the first movie was way to long and could have had 30 minutes cut and it would have been a much better movie. If the sequels actually have a story to go with how pretty the movie looks I may watch them. I have doubts that this will happen, but I can hope.

  12. Don’t take this as complaining or whining, but I really think the 1st movie ended in a good (if not great) note, and I simply hope they won’t disrupt that good ending by adding plots/twists that will ruin it. I know it will attract more money, but I believe some things are best to just leave it be, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, otherwise you might damage it for eternity. I like the 1st movie, I really hope I won’t end up disliking the franchise after the 2nd or 3rd or 4th movie comes out.
    (Personal experience? Transformers, Final Fantasy XIII, and many other titles)

  13. I just hope they don’t do the highly obvious and have the “evil” Humans return enforce to take the planet and wipe out the indigenous people. That would be a bit too trite and cliche for my taste.

  14. Three is enough, then move on to battle angel. Having a fourth is an obvious
    Money grab. The first one pretty much showed and said everything we needed to know. But my guess is he has had 4 years now to watch movies he will copy.
    The new 3d is awesome and it is main reason this movie destroyed every box office record.

  15. Maybe we’ll get to see blue cat children in the next sequels, also a cameo by a blue-cat Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Paul Reiser will return to play his part that Giovanni Ribisi played in the 1st movie(which was essentially the Carter Burke character in “Aliens”). Then, we can have them find the remains of the Titanic on Pandora, with Bill Paxton yelling “Game over, man!”
    And maybe even a cameo from Jar Jar Binks, who has been exiled to Pandora and is now trying to mate with the Navi.

  16. Interesting. Visually, Avatar was in a completely different league from almost anything else that has ever existed. We will expect another such experience, so taking time makes sense.

    Most “wannabe epics and underused 3D” are just that.

  17. I hope sigourney weaver comes back for the sequels even though ther character is dead, although I remember seeing an interview with James Cameron saying that nobody is dead in science fiction. Got my fingers crossed!

  18. Three more movies? Holy moly.

  19. So they are waiting 7 years to Avatar spam us?

    Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

  20. Meh.

  21. I cant wait to see all these sequels! Avatar was a masterpiece IMO, yes story wise its probably not that original but the whole thing was a thing of pure perfection, its so well made, I watched this again only last week for the first time in ages and it blew me away, id forgotten how good it is, James Cameron may take his time with these films but his end results are incredible, I reckon the next Avatar films will be outta control..

  22. Avatar is great movie of my heart

  23. Even though Avatar was basically Pocahontas with mechs and giant blue people I still enjoyed it. Sully as Capt. John Smith lol. I’ll be there in theatre to see them. I’m interested to see where a sequel goes. I really don’t have any idea what they’ll do other than the obvious threat of returning humans.

    • That’s what I am thinking they will do(or at least I hope they do). With them focusing underwater I am sure it’s an introduction to a new species which is why I think A2 will be Avatar going against a new underwater species that emerges that wants to take over the planet or some kind of Aquaman type character.

      • Sound good but I would rather see an external threat introduced,like a species from another planet with superior firepower to humans,but I would settle for an underwater battle in this sequel.

  24. ? Is my only response…

  25. Avatar – ripped off Pocahontas story + cliche that add crap an plot holes
    Avatar 2 – there might be atleast average script + water
    Avatar 3 – there might be atleast average script + clouds
    Avatar 4 – there might be atleast average script + cosmos

    Cameron is genius !

  26. Aside from the visuals, there isn’t really anything worthwhile to keep people’s interest: The story of the first was boring (and it’s been done before), and more importantly, the characters weren’t nearly likable and interesting enough.

    I’ll watch the second one at the cinema, mainly because I’m super interested in seeing how they film the underwater stuff, but if the story isn’t good enough and they don’t bring in some new, more charismatic characters, then I don’t see myself giving a damn about any other sequels.

    I guess the good news of these release dates, however, is that Avatar 2 isn’t coming out in 2015 as was rumored before. This means the other franchise movies of 2015 will probably have a bit more luck, money-wise.

  27. I’m gonna put this out there at the risk of fanboy ire, but aren’t these films scheduled to come out in direct competition to the new Star Wars films? I’m sorry, but I think Disney is going to pound Cameron into the dirt. Any film that goes up against Star Wars is gonna be hurting.

    • If this was 1999 and the prequels had never come out, Avatar would have a chance. But the movies will be coming out during different times of the year.

      But bc those prequels were so awful, and the original trilogy was wrapped up so well. I’m not that interested in seeing episode 7. But I will at least watch Episode 7 out of curiosity. I have zero interest in Seeing that Avatar 2. It’s trash.

      • I meant different times, in different years.^^^

  28. I saw Avatar 1, and that was enough to realise that Avatar is a bunch of overhyped garbage. The movie might have have made a lot of money at the box office, but its forgettable. It hasn’t had the same effect on culture the way that movies like Star Wars, Toy Story has. I see a million minion toys in stores, but I don’t ever see Avatar toys in stores.

    James Cameron is probably the most overrated director. He’s could film a guy taking a dump for three hours in 3D, not only would it make a billion dollars, it would win all the Oscars, bc the academy has their head up his a**.

    • I felt the same way about Pacific Rim LOL

    • Best comment this weekend, LOL!